Reliance inches closer to acquiring majority stake in Disney+ Hotstar

In a significant development, Disney Star is on the verge of selling a majority stake in Disney+ Hotstar, with Reliance, backed by Mukesh Ambani, emerging as the frontrunner in the race. Despite initial talks with Sony and the Adani group, Reliance has strengthened its position as the leading contender. If the deal materializes, JioCinema and Disney+ Hotstar might amalgamate into a single platform, establishing a monopoly in the realm of live sports streaming in India. Sources indicate that the deal could be finalized as early as next month.

Originally, Disney was contemplating selling only a fraction of the shares. However, the California-based company is now willing to relinquish a substantial stake, estimated to be worth $10 billion. Amidst the ongoing negotiations, Reliance has expressed its readiness to offer a substantial amount, ranging between $7-8 billion. The deal, if successful, is anticipated to be a combination of cash and stock, with Disney aiming to retain certain assets for an extended period.


It’s noteworthy that while viewership on Disney+ Hotstar had been dwindling, the Cricket World Cup injected new life into the platform. A staggering 43 million fans tuned in to witness the India vs New Zealand match on Sunday, setting a world record and reinvigorating the platform’s appeal.

Experts like Sonam Chandwani, Managing Partner at KS Legal & Associates, believe that a partnership between Disney and Reliance holds immense potential. “This collaboration leverages Disney’s global brand recognition, creative expertise, and extensive content library alongside Reliance’s profound understanding of the Indian market, robust distribution channels, and local operational acumen. Together, they could adeptly navigate India’s cultural and business intricacies, offering content and experiences tailored to local preferences while upholding Disney’s renowned global standards. Such an alliance would cater to an expansive and diverse audience,” Chandwani commented, highlighting the synergistic potential of this strategic partnership.